Rather than write a regular review, I will present my experience of playing the game as I played it. I was chatting with some friends as I played, and here is the chat log, with their comments removed for brevity:
Sirlin uh what is up with thisSirlin a while ago I happened to read reviews of iOS PitfallSirlin and everyone hated it, saying it was a fairly good game but the method of charging was totally terrible and way too much, way too required to progress, everyone said avoidSirlin right now it has 9,759 ratings, almost all of them 5/5Sirlin ok I played the Pitfall game, I have a reportSirlin it seems to be made by professional makers of gamesSirlin good controls, good production values, good art style, polishSirlin seems to have integration with various social medias and some sort of elaborate progression scheme or something to keep you playingSirlin hmm, if I reach a checkpoint (I didn't reach a checkpoint yet. Thanks) then I can spend a macaw token to start from thereSirlin I can buy macaw tokens in the storeSirlin Macaw token is gold.Sirlin it costs 6000 silver bars + 10 diamondsSirlin oh man, this is so made by professional game makersSirlin I wondered how much diamonds cost to buy. In the store, one item is 8 dimaonds and it's FREESirlin so that I get used to using the storeSirlin I am amazed yet again by another thingSirlin I have a feeling this game is full of amazementSirlin Another store item is "2x treasure" and it costs $1.99. The picture is a silver bar transforming into a gold barSirlin if you buy it, then all the silver bars you pick up as you play (there are tons, that's like the point) are gold bars instead, worth 2x as muchSirlin "A great long term investment"Sirlin I mean if I'm going to play the game, the earlier I buy this 2x gold upgrade the better!!!Sirlin every time I play without buying it, I wasted something basicallySirlin wow I can buy all sorts of barely different t-shirts for my guy, costing like $1 each sort ofSirlin oh, this is confusing on their partSirlin actually the outfits are really different, but the icon for each outfit is a barely different t-shirtSirlin hmm how about 3d models of characters in Yomi, and you can buy alternate costumesSirlin I can buy consumable anti-venom tonics to cure bites and stingsSirlin more amazement, it just does not stopSirlin today the bear outfit (one of the many you can buy) is the outfit of the daySirlin so it's free?Sirlin noSirlin If I wear it, I get poison immunity today.Sirlin So they could have made a poison immunity thing to buy, but this is even better because they can take away poison immune tomorrow.Sirlin "Unlock the ability to get free diamonds in 5 more runs!"Sirlin I get free treasure by liking them on Facebook, from within the appSirlin do you think it's even more incredible now, or the same level of incredible?Sirlin if you guessed more incredible, you're rightSirlin I leveled up or something, twice. Also I passed a checkpointSirlin and it tells me that now I can use Macaw tokens to start from there. To see how that works, press the store buttonSirlin already wow, but get this: you have to press the store button. You can't do anything else until you doSirlin then you can buy macaw tokens for 10 diamonds, by pressing the large pulsating button for thatSirlin it's not optional!Sirlin they give you some free diamonds to get you startedSirlin and there is no way to do anything other than buy the macaw tokens right now. so again, they are training you to use the store.Sirlin it's just never ending, the tricksSirlin now I died and there is a blue button restartSirlin ORSirlin a bigger, golden, gleaming, animated Macaw button to continue from last checkpointSirlin By unlocking the checkpoint, I got 5 macaw tokens for free, but I can always buy more from the store!Sirlin that's a line it saidSirlin I clicked the blue restart buttonSirlin I would expect this to restartSirlin "ARE YOU SURE? Sure you want Harry to go all the way back to base camp, when you could use a *Macaw Token* to start at the last activated Checkpoint he passed?"Sirlin I forgot to mention that each time I do a run, it starts with a sad horn honking sound as a t-shirt icon comes up that says "Outfit of the day: No Match"Sirlin how do they keep topping themselvesSirlin Now I unlocked the ability to get free diamonds!Sirlin this sounds like a fantastic deal, who wouldn't want free diamondsSirlin I can click on "show me" to see how it worksSirlin and it says by signing up for various offers, I can get the free diamonds nowSirlin like sign up for discover card and freecreditscore etcSirlin I UNLOCKED the ability to do that lolSirlin wow I got a free diamondSirlin I completed one of the offers of watching a 30 second videoSirlin I could get 106 diamonds for getting a free trial membership at freecreditscore.com thoughSirlin Playing this game feels like if Disneyland said "hey come to Disneyland free! As part of the experience, we will have a professional thief hold your wallet the whole time."
Some of these things are probably just good busines practice that I should consider for fantasystrike.com. More revenue means more ability to reinvest to make the site better. But taken all together, it's just so over the top in Pitfall, and the focus on money over actual game design is kind of frightening. It seems players are voting that that's what they want, as Pitfall on iOS has made a whole lot of money.
UPDATE: Hours later I turned on my iPad on the home screen, Pitfall notified me that my burst tonics have refilled, so it's a good time to get playing again.